Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is a pneumococcal vaccine and a conjugate vaccine used to protect infants, young children, and adults against disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus). Diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae or pneumococcus) are a major public health problem worldwide.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is an important vaccine and has been part of the immunization schedule and protects against serious diseases that are often caused by pneumococci which include:
1. Pneumonia : Pneumonia is the most common and most serious of the S. pneumoniae diseases which include symptoms such as fever and chills, cough, rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. For the elderly, they may include confusion, low alertness, and the former listed symptoms to a lesser degree.
2. Meningitis : Pneumococcal meningitis is an infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include stiff neck, fever, headache, confusion, and photophobia.
3. Febrile Bacteraemia: Sepsis is caused by overwhelming response to an infection and leads to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. The symptoms include confusion, shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, pain or discomfort, over-perspiration, fever, shivering, or feeling cold.
4. And Otitis media (infection of the ear or inner ear), sinusitis and bronchitis are more common but less serious manifestations of infection. This
In 2005, WHO estimated that 1.6 million people die of pneumococcal disease every year; this estimate includes the deaths of 0.7-1 million children aged less than 5 years, most of whom live in developing countries. The magnitude of the burden of pneumococcal disease among elderly people in developing countries is undefined. In the developed world, children aged less than 2 years and the elderly people carry the major burden of disease.
SIDE EFFECTS OF VACCINES
There may be mild side effects to this vaccine which includes:
- Redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot is given in about one out of every four infants
- Fever higher than 100.4 F in about one out of every three infants
- Fever higher than 102.2 F in about one out of every 50 children
- Occasional incidence of fussiness, drowsiness, or loss of appetite
Immunization schedule for Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
- At 6 weeks ,
- At 10 weeks and
- At 14 weeks from birth.
Its importance can’t be over stressed.
Vaccinate your children now.